Right to Counsel

The U.S. immigration system is complex and can be difficult to understand. These resources provide key data points, historical information, and background on hot topics in immigration. Learn the basics about immigration.

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September 28, 2016

Nationally, only 37 percent of all immigrants had legal representation, and only 14 percent of immigrants in detention had a lawyer. In a paper issued today, Access to Counsel in Immigration Court...

June 28, 2016

Last week, a federal court certified a class in a lawsuit challenging the federal government’s failure to provide legal representation to children in deportation proceedings. Several thousand...

March 25, 2016

A federal district court in Seattle heard arguments in a lawsuit on Thursday seeking to ensure that all children in immigration court have legal representation. The case received a flurry of...

July 28, 2015

Elvis Garcia is a migration counselor at the Catholic Charities Community Services of New York. He is also a former unaccompanied child who fled from his native Honduras in 2005 when he was 15...

May 12, 2011

Findings released last week by the New York Immigration Representation Study reveal what immigration advocates long have said: whether a person has legal representation is a critical factor in...

September 25, 2020

The American Immigration Council and the American Immigration Lawyers Association, through their joint initiative, the Immigration Justice Campaign, submitted this comment in opposition to...

September 11, 2020
It is not news that our nation is in an unprecedented moment where many of our democratic traditions and norms are being challenged. We have grown deeply concerned by the ongoing attacks on democracy that are unfolding before us.
August 27, 2020

Communication with the outside world is crucial for people in jail. This includes individuals facing deportation while detained in immigration detention centers, who do not have the right to court...

August 26, 2020
Individuals in U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement custody at the Otero County Processing Center filed a motion for preliminary injunction to stop ICE from denying detained individuals the ability to contact their lawyers and the outside world by phone.
This lawsuit was filed to stop Immigration and Customs Enforcement from denying detainees the ability to contact their lawyers and the outside world by phone.
June 5, 2020
The American Immigration Council has named experienced attorney and litigator Kate Melloy Goettel to be its legal director of litigation.
May 4, 2020

A free phone call can mean the difference between a fair day in court and being deported to harm—or worse—for individuals held in immigration detention centers. Immigrants may not be able to meet...

April 28, 2020
Today’s Court decision denying the emergency temporary restraining order in NIPNLG, et al., v. EOIR, et al., is deeply disappointing. This lawsuit was brought against the Executive Office for Immigration Review and U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement to protect the health of immigration attorneys, immigrants, and the public from the impact of dangerous and unconstitutional policies during the COVID-19 pandemic.
April 8, 2020
Immigration groups moved for an emergency temporary restraining order against the Executive Office for Immigration Review and U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement in order to protect the health of immigration attorneys, immigrants, and the public from the impact of dangerous and unconstitutional policies during the COVID-19 pandemic.
The Council filed a lawsuit to close the immigration courts and ensure due process.

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